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April 19, 2014

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50,000 Somali kids at risk: UN, govt ask for help

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 | 2:54 a.m.

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia's president is urging donors to fulfill aid pledges made to his fledgling government, while the U.N. is appealing for aid money, saying that 50,000 children are at risk of death from malnutrition.

Philippe Lazzarini, the U.N.'s top aid official in Somalia, said Tuesday that Somalia's hunger situation does not compare to the devastating 2011 famine, but that it's similar to just before a famine. The U.N. is asking for $933 million for its 2014 Somalia aid operations.

He said international donors, squeezed by the continuing crisis in Syria and new emergencies in South Sudan and Central African Republic, have given less money to Somalia. Donors have continuing concerns about the theft and corruption of aid money in a country with little effective government.